This week, Upper IV were given an exciting introduction into the world of business with a visit from the Reading Young Enterprise team. Tasked with working through the early stages of launching a fledgling business, the girls ran through a series of hands-on, engaging activities designed to not only develop key employability skills but also help the girls discover more about themselves.
The primary focus for first part of the session was to understand the importance of teamwork. Presented with quizzes and challenges, the girls found that the more they worked together, the easier and more time-efficient tasks would become. Once they had grasped this key aspect of the day, each group began to set up their businesses. At this stage, the business, business name, logo and slogan were created as well as key business decisions made and loans applied for.
The next stage required the groups to further develop their businesses by looking at three key functions central to the running of a business – product development, marketing and events. After splitting into these respective smaller groups they narrowed their focus onto specific tasks. The product development department were responsible for listing the product details and specification, designing the layout of their store if applicable and designing external facing signs. The marketing department created advertising, a website and business cards, while the events department created a website and social media campaign to promote their launch event. Uniquely, two teams came together for their launch event after observing a common target audience for their businesses.
After lunch, the teams were approaching the final stages of their day – the Young Enterprise Business Awards challenge. After preparing their trade stands for the judges’ observation they each presented a two-minute pitch outlining the important factors relevant to their businesses. All teams had clearly put in a lot of effort, all coming up with creative ideas and taking their business plans that step further than their guidelines offered.
Special mentions go to ‘Adventure Kingdom’ who won the marketing award for the online presence of their soft-play centre, ‘Haven’ for winning the teamwork award for their student-focused cafe and the smoothie company ‘Zest’ for winning best pitch. Congratulations to ‘Seeds’ who won both the innovation award and team of the year for their garden centre business. In particular, they were commended for their after-sales app which allowed them to continue interaction with their customers after purchase.